Saturday, April 2, 2011

star school

homeschooling a strong-willed child is a challenge for any parent. homeschooling a strong-willed kid with aspergers is an extra blob of stress and required creativity.

we have many days where brooke is mad about school. she'd much rather spend her days playing with toys, reading her fun books and inventing games in her mind than sitting around working on crap that doesn't mean anything to her. she tells me that school is torture and no amount of explaining or cajoling can convince her that it's worth it to just do the work without complaining.

however, i've found that if i let her keep one of her toys with her & somehow figure out a way to make her assignments pertain to whatever her current obsession is, it's much less painful for both of us. her obsession of the moment is the warriors series about tough cats who live in clans and fight a lot while taking care of their own. our house is filled with words like "tigerstar", "star clan," "ravenpaw," "kitty pet" and "two-leg". she's wearing cat ears & dressed all in gray today & can barely speak a word that isn't about these cats, but we need to get a school day in since i worked a lot and spent a day away from the house, giving all our money to the car repair shop this week.

so, in order to get brooke to engage & participate in math today, we determined that she's in "alpha school" and she hopes to become a clan leader one day, so she has to know how to add numbers so she could supply her omegas with food. now she's got an assignment to write about a sporting event, but since she's never been to a sporting event & we don't watch sports on tv, i changed it to a warrior cat event. this makes the work a million times easier because she has very little trouble coming up with a story about the cats in her head.

for lunch, she ate red squirrel (apple) and a pigeon sandwich (grilled cheese). for culinary class, we're going to make dinner. the menu includes vole intestines with muscle bits and blood sauce (spaghetti squash with chunky tomatoes and a little red sauce) and a desert of fish egg souffle (cadbury eggs).

later we'll work on maps because an alpha can't patrole her territory if she doesn't understand the borders and landmarks. and at some point we'll study squirrels. because it's good for a predator to have a strong understanding about the health and habits of the prey being stalked. tomorrow we're going to an exotic bird fair where she'll learn about foods from around the world. and we're working on a banner for art class that we'll hang up, declaring our kitchen to be "star school". because star = alpha in her world. she also blogged about warrior cats to practice typing. she even did the embedding of the video and put the picture in herself.

i wonder what next week will bring. and what kind of adjustments i'll have to make in order to get the school work done. it's always an adventure for this teacher.

26 comments:

  1. Good job! Let me know how those vole intestines turn out. If they're good I might like the recipe.

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  2. Kiddo reads all those books. She gets them as soon as they come out, courtesy of her grandparents.
    It's cool you have figured out how to use her love of the Warriors to learn.

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  3. Very creative solution to a challenging situation. Impressed!

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  4. Wow -- super creative way to keep her engaged and interested. Seriously awesome.

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  5. Kudos to you! Even as a former teacher I would have no idea how to begin home schooling!

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  6. Wow! You seem to do well with your solutions, and that's what's most important. I have nothing but admiration for someone who homeschools well.

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  7. Impressive work Mom.
    P.S. I can't help thinking that book series would be endorsed by Charlie Sheen. #tigerstar

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  8. Work of genius! By the way, who WOULDN'T rather stay home, play with toys, read fun books, and invent games in her/his mind instead of sitting around working on crap? I know I would.

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  9. She's training you well. Are you part of the clan?

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  10. What you just described is the most positive aspect of homeschooling. I homeschooled all kids on and off during their school years.

    When my daughter was in grade 11 she was interested in design, so we spent the year making our own curriculum involving all subjects in reguards to fashion.

    She then entered school for grade 12, had to take some extra credit online that seemed like a joke, but graduated with top grades.

    What you are doing for Brooke, is the best possible thing for her, and don't let the task at hand overwhelm you...it sounds fantastic.

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  11. You are an awesome mom Sherilin... and she is so incredibly imaginative and inventive... what an amazing combo the two of you make!

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  12. FIrst two paragraphs I am nodding my head. Yep. Yep.
    It is a challange. Every day is a different day. Who knows what our Aspie kids will wake up like today right?
    My son is normally good with the homeschooling. Oh he has his days but because he is so smart and races through his school work, it's not so bad.
    But then there are the days when I want to throw something out the window. lol.

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  13. you guys are so supportive. it makes me feel good to get some positive feedback that i'm not totally off my rocker when i do weird stuff around here. i think it's interesting how several of my blogging buddies have aspie kids too. i'd never heard of it till about 3-4 years ago & now i know of so many people who are dealing with it.
    antares, she says i'm NOT part of the clan. i guess i'm not cool enough.
    sprite, when we have those days, i really want to throw ME out the window so i can escape!

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  14. I like the picture you added at the end. I know that girl, but who's the cat behind her?

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  15. I wish I would have had YOU for my teacher. You bring a lot of imagination to the table...to go along with your daughter.

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  16. What a great imagination you BOTH have.

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  17. You are amazing! I would never have been able to come up with something likes this; now I feel like such a slacker for putting my AS child in a cluster classroom!

    Okay, not really, but I still think you're amazing...and awesome! ;-)

    BTW, thanks for commenting on my shoutbox; I, too, would rather do the email response, but like you said, lots of people haven't enabled their emails. Hopefully this shoutbox will work!

    Hope your weekend was lovely!

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  18. Didn't I comment on this?!? Truly, I am losing it. I even thought I rememembered what I said. Anyhoo, I will have to tell my sister about those books as I have a feeling my niece would freak over them. I think you're awesome for doing the home schooling thing. I bet you're way better than most of the bored, burnt-out teachers out there.

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  19. Super Creative Mom! Keep up the great work!!!

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  20. Sounds like you are learning as much as she is! I think it is a good thing to play on their strengths and use what they love.

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  21. Wow. I was impressed with your daughter's blog! She's certainly progressed well under your tutelage. The hope of our family, my niece, also has Aspergers. I fear she won't get such quality training as you are able to give your daughter. Congratulations on your brave efforts.

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don't let me be the only one doing the talking around here. spill your guts!